A LOCAL landowner has said an accident is waiting to happen unless improvement works are carried out at a hill near Norton.

Lord Middleton first raised concerns over North Grimston hill, which falls in his estate, last year.

The peer, who is a member of North Grimston Parish Council, said he was very concerned about the severe dangers for drivers using the B1248 road up and down the hill.

“There is nothing at the side of the hill and when you look at the hillside it is cracked underneath which adds to the dangers,” he said. “There should be crash barriers and the road needs widening into the hillside.”

Lord Middleton said the road was dangerous from its start in Norton to the county boundary.

“There have been all sorts of accidents along that stretch of road but the hill is particularly dangerous,” he said. “There is an accident waiting to happen and I am very concerned that at worst a 52-seater school bus or an oil tanker goes over the side – the road is a hazard.”

Last month, Wharram-le-Street residents launched a campaign to make the B1248 safer following the deaths of seven people in the past four years.

Kate Megginson, of the parish council, said their concerns included North Grimston Hill.

“If you get two lorries passing then there isn’t room for them.

It would only take one vehicle to get too close to the edge and the result would be fatal. Some years ago the county council shut the hill to blast the rock and widen the road and hopefully to put up a crash barrier, but they reopened the hill and had done nothing. We have been told that it isn’t seen as a problem because there haven’t been any fatalities.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “There have been no reported injury accidents on this stretch of road that a safety barrier would have prevented or reduced the severity of. Government cuts to our funding has resulted in us only being able to consider improvements at sites where there is a significant personal injury accident history.

”The installation of a crash barrier at this location will not be inexpensive. Due to the width of the existing road we would have to widen the road to accommodate the width of any new barrier. Due to the nature of the adjoining land, any widening would involve extensive earthmoving operations.”